Corona cries persecution
MANILA, Philippines - Dismissed chief justice Renato Corona said on Thursday, August 30, that he and his family had expected that tax evasion charges would be filed against them by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, but decried that his family's persecution continues with the "usual media overkill."
Corona, his daughter Ma. Carla Beatriz C. Castillo, and son in law, Constantino T. Castillo III were charged with tax evasion by the BIR on August 30. Corona allegedly had a deficiency income tax liability of P120 million, while that of Carla amounted to P9 million. Constantino Castillo, meanwhile, had a declared income of P1.93 million from 2005-2009, but he bought a property for P10.5 million in 2003 even with no reported income then, according to the BIR.
The filing of the charges came 3 months after Corona was removed from his post by the impeachment court for failing to declare P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
BIR commissioner Kim Henares said that as early as February, however, they were already investigating Corona for alleged discrepancies in his SALN and income tax returns. She said the BIR sent him a letter of authority in April indicating that they were being investigated, but got no response.
On August 30, Henares said that based on the alpha list submitted by the Supreme Court for the years 2003-2010, Corona only had a declared income of P26.45 million, but his true worth at the time was P161.15 million.
In a text message to reporters, Corona said that with the filing of the charges, "there appears to be an immediate need to divert public attention from certain issues that are becoming too hot to handle."
Henares denied this, saying the BIR is not a "political office." "We are a law enforcement office and it is our mandate to make sure people follow the National Internal Revenue Code," she said.
Corona believes his family will overcome this and claimed they are ready to face the charges. "As a man of law, I will abide by the process." - Rappler.com